I’ve accumulated a few interesting project news items from ABB.
- Robot automates Amazon Reforestation
- All-electric mine study in Australia
- China Telecom digitization project
World’s most remote robot automates Amazon reforestation project
ABB Robotics is supporting Junglekeepers in their mission to protect 55,000 acres of Amazon rainforest and reverse deforestation. In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, ABB’s cobot YuMi is automating planting tasks in a jungle laboratory, speeding the process and allowing Junglekeepers’ volunteers to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work.
Through ABB RobotStudio Cloud technology, ABB experts simulate, refine and deploy the programming required for YuMi’s tasks in the jungle from 12,000 kms (7,460 miles) away Västerås, Sweden – enabling the world’s most remote robot.
“ABB’s collaboration with Junglekeepers demonstrates how robotics and Cloud technology can play a central role in fighting deforestation as one of the major contributors to climate change”, said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation. “Our pilot program with the world’s most remote robot is helping automate highly repetitive tasks, freeing up rangers to undertake more important work out in the rainforest and helping them to conserve the land they live on.”
In a jungle lab, located in a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, a YuMi cobot has been installed to automate essential tasks in the seed planting process, usually an entirely manual effort. The cobot digs a hole in the soil, drops the seed in, compacts the soil on top and marks it with a color-coded tag. YuMi enables Junglekeepers to replant an area the size of two soccer fields every day in zones requiring reforestation.
At the same time, by automating this task, Junglekeepers’ volunteers are able to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work, such as patrolling the area to deter illegal loggers, educating locals on the preservation of the rainforest and planting mature saplings.
Creating a fully remote and autonomous cobot installation also overcomes the difficulty of finding people willing to stay and work in the distant jungle location. After its initial installation, YuMi can carry out its tasks autonomously, with only trouble shooting as needed.
“As of right now, we have lost 20 percent of the total area of Amazon rainforest; without using technology today, conservation will be at a standstill,” said Moshin Kazmi, Co-Founder of Junglekeepers. “Having Yumi at our base is a great way to expose our rangers to new ways of doing things. It accelerates and expands our operations and advances our mission.”
The destruction of the Amazon rainforest through human activities such as logging and burning to clear land for agriculture are contributing to the devastating effects of climate change. It is estimated that more than 870,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared since 1985, an area larger than France, United Kingdom and Belgium combined. With tens of billions of trees already being gone, the region is warming fast.
“The Amazon is in danger. That’s why we need technology, science and local knowledge to work together in order to save it. Otherwise, we will be too late. The rainforest can be saved, but we must bring together all these elements to make a difference,” said Dennis del Castillo Torres, Director of Forest Management Research at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute. “It is very important to have a combination of high technology and conservation. There are many technologies that we can use to preserve the forest, and this robot can help a lot to reforest faster, but we have to be very selective. We have to use it in areas of high deforestation to speed up the process of replanting.”
The pilot project is supported by ABB’s RobotStudio Cloud technology, enabling teams all over the world to collaborate in real time. This remote new way of programming enables new levels of flexibility and instant refinement, resulting in greater efficiency and resilience, and no loss of planting time. With more than 25 years of offline programming experience, RobotStudio offers best-in-class digital technology, enabling 99 percent accuracy between simulation and reality. This allows users to reduce time for testing robotic solutions by 50 percent and takes production downtimes to zero.
ABB Robotics’ pilot project in the Amazon furthers its objective to contribute to sustainable transformation through intelligent robotics and automation solutions, supporting businesses to increase productivity, reduce waste and maximize efficiency. In 2022, ABB Robotics collaborated with the Parley Global Cleanup network, a non-profit organization collecting marine plastic waste, to create personalized designer items such as recycled furniture, using 3D additive printing. In accordance with the wishes of Junglekeepers, the pilot scheme in the rainforest with RobotStudio Cloud and YuMi will last for approximately six weeks (across May and June 2023). Following the conclusion of the pilot program, ABB will explore opportunities to assist Junglekeepers on a more extended basis as well as exploring further opportunities for its robotic solutions and cloud technologies to play a central role in driving sustainable transformation.
All-electric mine study from Australian operator IGO
- A team of experts from the three companies will work together to design electrification for the Cosmos Nickel Project
- Study will consider mine hauling operations, power distribution, energy efficiency and power management, with decarbonization and electrification crucial to the future of this industry
- Perenti’s expertise and technical capabilities are combined with ABB’s eMine framework for electrification and automation
- The collaboration setup by ABB and mining services group Perenti has been awarded its first contract by Australian mine operator IGO Ltd. to provide an all-electric mine study for the full underground electrification of IGO’s Cosmos Nickel Project in Western Australia.
Experts from the three companies will work together to provide a pathway for the optimum design of mine electrification at the IGO-owned Cosmos Project. This will include mine design optimization for electric operations, production and operating philosophy, fleet selection, power distribution and electrical infrastructure design, electrification system and battery management, ESG and safety impact analysis, and cost modelling of both Capex and Opex.
The study is a significant step in IGO’s commitment to continuously improving its sustainability performance by trialing new technologies and decarbonizing its operations, helping to create a cleaner energy future. The mine operator’s aspiration is to implement a complete mine electrification solution at Cosmos by mid-2025.
ABB and China Telecom unveil joint digitalization and industrial IoT lab
- The laboratory is a collaboration between ABB Measurement & Analytics China Technology Center and E Surfing IoT, China Telecom’s Internet of Things subsidiary
- The collaboration will explore the extensive integration of process automation solutions and empower multiple industries in China with digital transformation tools
- The lab will support manufacturing industries with end-to-end industrial IoT solutions that help with real-time, data-driven decisions for safer, smarter and more sustainable operations
ABB and China Telecom unveil a joint digitalization and industrial IoT laboratory in Hangzhou, China. The collaboration between ABB Measurement & Analytics China Technology Center and China Telecom’s Internet of Things subsidiary E Surfing IoT will focus on developing end-to-end industrial IoT solutions for industrial companies based in China.
As China transforms its manufacturing industries, the industrial IoT field is developing fast. Currently, China is promoting the green and sustained growth agenda, bringing many new opportunities to areas such as smart manufacturing, digitalization, energy efficiency, and smart cities.
As part of the collaboration, ABB and E Surfing IoT will explore avenues for technology integration and industrial application of new technologies as well as new directions for next-generation industrial IoT solutions. The two teams will focus on comprehensive digital solutions that incorporate ABB sensor technology, China Telecom’s 5G network, industrial IoT and connectivity technology, as well as cloud computing.
Recently, ABB collaborated with E Surfing IoT in the field of smart water networks. As part of the collaboration, Chinese water companies were able to increase the quality of data from their water networks and hence the operational efficiency by an average of more than 20 percent through implementing IoT solutions, achieving energy savings and cost reduction.